Since the patriarchy is giving way to a new sense of equality and partnership between men and women, I don’t want to give you the impression that The Hunger Games is only about the new feminine Hera. It is also about the new masculine Hero. Uranus in Aries is waking us all up to a new sense of identity, a new sense that we are all the heroes and heras of our own destiny. And that destiny involves being there for each other, with respect and ingenuity.
I was going to use the books and movies of The Lord of the Rings to talk about the image of the new masculine hero. Tolkien presents us with so many characters to choose from. There is Strider/Aragon, the hidden king who is protector and warrior, lover and king. There is Gandalf, the wizard who puts forth all his power to protect and defend his companions and Middle Earth. There is Gimli and Legolas, the dwarf and elf who become boon companions through their defense of the realm in its fight against the dark lord, Sauron. And of course, there’s Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin, small heroes who accomplish what the mighty ones cannot do. Tolkien’s characters exemplify all that is good and true in human beings when we are faced with ultimate evil.
Peeta, the hero in The Hunger Games, does not have the magical powers of Gandalf nor the endurance of the hobbits. What he does have is the determination to help and protect Katniss with his life until his death. Peeta is an example of who a new masculine hero might be and what a new masculine hero might do. And yet, this hero isn’t so new at all. Ancient warriors have fought to the death to protect those they love. Even a God was willing to give up his life so that we all could have eternal life. So in a way, Peeta represents a renewal of the archetype of the masculine hero. Like the dummling youngest son in fairy tales, he forges ahead into his adventure leading with his heart. That’s what helps him to win the day. He’s the hero with heart!
Peeta is a kind and caring young man, despite the harshness of his own life. He has compassion for Katniss when she’s hungry, even when he doesn’t have the courage to hand her the loaf of bread his mother would rather feed to the pigs. He takes delight in his work, decorating cakes, and uses his artistry to help him survive during the Games by blending into the background. He made his arm look like a tree trunk! How clever is that?
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